06 February 2017


There is no such a thing as a fake maki-e pen, I said in the past, provided the maki-e was actually there. On such pens, what matters most is the decoration, and the pen becomes secondary. Such might be the case of the pen on display today.

An anonymous and interesting pen.

Nothing do I know about the pen itself and I can only describe it. It resembles of a Parker 51 (and to some English Duofolds from the 1950s), with which it shares the clip. The filling system is aerometric. The material of the body is ebonite.

There are three inscriptions on the pen, but none of them says anything about its origin. On the cap lit it just says “R14K”. On the pressing plate inside the barrel, the inscriptions reads “SPECIAL / TUBE CASE”. Finally, on the nib, “14 KT GOLD / “WARRANTED” / 4 / TOKYO”.

There existed several operations in Japan in the 1940s and 1950s with the name Tokyo on it, but this nib inscription might only mean where this pen had been made.

The Parker clip and the "matsuba" decoration.

Overall, this is a well made pen, but this detail might be almost irrelevant when compared to the decoration. It is a very discreet and understated pattern of short red lines over a black background. Its name is "matsuba"--pine tree twigs. This decorative tecnique doe snot have any specific name, but it is included in the group of simple techniques “kawari-nuri”. In actual terms, this seems to be more of a drawing with urushiurushi-e— than a real full fledged sprinkled maki-e. The decoration on this pen is not signed.

The inscription on the nib says "14KT.GOLD / "WARRANTED"/ 4 / TOKYO".

Given the overall style of the pen, it is reasonable to date in the mid 1950s, when copies of the best seller Parker 51 were common in Japan.

These are the dimensions of this anonymous pen:

Length closed: 132 mm
Length open: 118 mm
Length posted: 156 mm
Diameter: 13.6 mm
Weight: 17.3 g (dry)
Ink deposit: 0.8 ml

Oaso “Safari” – Pilot Iroshizuku Yama-budo

Bruno Taut
Nakano, February 2nd 2017
etiquetas: maki-e, Parker


Jerry said...

FYI, it resembles a Parker New Duofold from the UK around the mid 50's. See http://parkerpens.net/ukduofold.html

Bruno Taut said...

Thanks a lot, Jerry. You are absolutely right. I have added a small note. If we could only know the production date of this Japanese pen...



Post a Comment

Your comments are welcome and appreciated.